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MooseCamp 2010


It's Not About the Technology: Explaining "It" to the "Un-Initiated"

A discussion with @HHG


Michael Jordan YouTube: It's Not About the Shoes



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It’s not about the shoes

It’s about knowing where you’re going

Not forgetting where you started

It’s about having the courage to fail

Not breaking when you are broken

Taking everything you have been given and making something better

It’s about work before glory

And what’s inside of you

It’s doing what they say you can’t

It’s not about the shoes, it’s about what you do in them

It’s about being who you were born to be.


Some of my thoughts:



Trying to Explain/Sell Tech to Decision Makers

Start with a clearly defined problem - otherwise it's just "gadgetry"...

  • what would you like in your school/classroom?
  • kids need multimodal literacies - that's the info world that we live in right now 

Are social media tools better learning tools than traditional print? Or what other tools?

  • @sleslie - currently construct schools around cohorts of kids that live near each other and assume they want to learn same things in same ways at same time. Not necessarily true.
    • online provides ability to connect differently.
    • student empowered, relevant
    • don't have to be constrained
  • Sometimes we look to the technology to solve problems that are deeper than just the technology.
    • it's a clash of paradigms
    • podcasting project - took 3 months, lots of problems
    • hardware issues (old, limited access)
    • teachers and students didn't necessarily have the software skills, and because it made things more difficult, so they put it off to free times. It wasn't integrated. Rigid schedules. 
    • Teachers need to be tolerant of a certain "noise level"

Setting boundaries - context for using these tools for productivity or learning. Students see it as tools for social, facebook, etc...

  • @audreyvan Where students bring devices to class, they're looking up things, helping teacher, asking questions

Assessment is more authentic - there are other eyes on it (not just teachers).

@bryanhughes Can be difficult because if you try to "short circuit" online publishing and yet students have a lack of context, don't know how.

Influence the people who influence the decision makers, rather than trying to convince decision makers. How can you find the right groups?


Relating What They Already Do to "New" Ways of Doing It




The Best Part of Conferences (the connections you make over lunch and during breaks)

Diverse Perspectives


  • @nancywhite look across sectors re: how others are describing it
  • personal values help to "sell" it
  • what's in it for me? 
  • also what's motivating the group
  • stories - that include measurable outcomes
    • ie ongoing professional development instead of external PD
    • how to measure? Self reflecting on it as a cohort
  • what do we stop doing, no longer providing value? - do differently, not do more
    • less meetings because we have collaborative documents and ongoing communication
  • easy entry point - show something that's really powerful for you

Stop asking questions and just do it - you'll either figure it out or figure out it wasn't the right question to ask anyhow





Trying to Explain/Motivate Educators to Try It or Let Students Use It


Overcoming Barriers/Fears

How does one teacher manage diverse directions that students want to take learning?

Making it easy to use

Leadership that creates a culture

Teacher confidence: Getting over the need to "know" or "be in control"

Taking risks, making mistakes, valuing failure



Teachers are concerned about/don't know how to assess such diverse learning. How to support them?

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